It’s been a busy summer season and we’ve not been blogging so much, but now that it’s a bit quieter we thought we would try to catch up on our adventures and share them with you.
This week we were very lucky to get the chance to go foraging for mushrooms with Daniel from Fungi Forays. Since noticing the abundance of various mushrooms growing around Devil’s Bridge and Woodlands, we’ve been curious to understand them better and perhaps begin to learn what mushrooms might be safe to eat. The idea of foraging for food has always been interesting to us, but something we knew we would need guidance on. So when we were offered the opportunity to spend a few hours in the Elan Valley with an expert, we were very excited.
We met Daniel at the Elan Valley Visitors Centre and off we went in his landrover to see what we could find. He has years of knowledge of edible mushrooms, but also of the area, so he can take you immediately to some secret spots almost guaranteed to find a fungi feasts. We learnt quite a few species and indeed a fair bit about the inedible mushrooms and of course the few poisonous ones too! Daniel also ensures you are taught about the different habitats that attract different types of fungi and where is best to hunt for your dinner. After a bit of a drive around, we set off on foot to find and after a couple of hours we returned to our van with a basket full of edible finds.
We took our mushrooms home and had a fry up for dinner! But if you join one of the Fungi Forays at the weekend, as part of the trip, you will enjoy a wild mushroom based meal at his traditional Welsh longhouse after your foraging. Sounds yum!
Not only do you learn a lot about fungi, habitats and the local area, but you get to enjoy it all in the beautiful scenery of the stunning Elan Valley.
If you want to find out more and go on your own Fungi Foray, take a look at his website for more information. (Or ask us at reception)
On one of our earlier days off we headed north to C.A.T – the Centre for Alternative Technology.
An inspiring visitors centre with lots of hands-on displays and tonnes of things to learn. This place really does teach you more about sustainable living and what you can do to turn your home and garden into a much more efficient and greener place to be. Not only that, but the place is set in over 7 acres of stunning gardens and scenery, with fantastic walks and view points, as well as a rather tasty cafe full of homemade dishes using ingredients straight from their gardens.
We clearly enjoyed C.A.T. so much that we totally forgot to take any photos whilst there! A sure sign of being too engrossed – which is an endorsement in itself!
We have fallen completely in love with the nearby Hafod Estate.
We first visited when we had a couple of hours off one Sunday morning, we nipped up and did the blue trail “The Lady’s Walk” and were absolutely stunned by the place. So when we had another day off we decided to spend the majority of it at the Hafod!
We took various routes, and made sure to include the part of the red trail “The Gentleman’s Walk” up to the Cavern Cascade – a hidden beauty worth making the detour off the main path.
At every turn there are breathtaking views and perfect picnic spots. If you have a dog this is one of the local places where you can let them off lead (bar a few sections that are signposted) for a good walk. Oh and look out for the friendly Highland cattle hanging out near one of the trails 🙂
The little church is worth a visit too, just by the car park, with interesting history of the church, the estate and its owners.
With it only being about 15 minutes drive away from Woodlands we know we will be making this a regular walking spot.
On one of our days off we were invited to visit the Silver Mountain Experience which is located only 15 minutes away from Woodlands. We were excited to get our first taste of the mining history of the area.
The attraction is well worth a visit, especially for families, with plenty to do and learn all around the site as well as fun guided tours. We took the history tour so we could learn about the mines but we are keen to go back and do the scary “Black Chasm” tour! The great thing about this place is they’ve really made the history of the mine come alive whilst ensuring they appeal to all ages. There’s even a fun tour for young ones with a hunt for a shy dragon named Grotty!
Before you go, its worth checking with reception at the caravan park as they may have a leaflet that gets you a discount, or if you book online you may also get a discounted entry fee.
With a long lunch and a bit of time to spare we decided to nip over to Bwlch Nant Yr Arian as it is so close to the caravan park.
There are lots of walking and cycling trails to do here, with beautiful views in every direction, but with only a short amount of time before we had to be back to work we headed straight to the lake and the viewing area for the Red Kite Feeding session. Here you can expect around 150 Red Kites swooping down for their dinner, or even more in Winter! It’s quite spectacular! What we didn’t expect was the spectacle to be combined with a low flyover from one of the RAF jets on its training flight. What a combo!
“If all future sites we visit are as good as Woodlands then life will be perfect thanks for a great time”